An experimental HIV mRNA vaccine – a technology similar to that used in the Covid-19 vaccine – has shown promising results when tested in animals (rodents and macaques), scientists in the United States said.
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by Dr. Paolo Lusso and with the participation of Institute director Anthony Fauci and Moderna researchers, published their findings in the journal Nature Medicine that the vaccine is safe and generates the desired immune response, both at the antibody level. and at the cellular level.
Monkeys that received the initial dose of vaccine and booster doses the following year had a 79% lower risk of contracting SHIV (animal HIV equivalent) than unvaccinated monkeys. Fauci noted:
“Despite nearly four decades of efforts by the global research community, developing an effective vaccine to prevent HIV remains an elusive goal. This new experimental mRNA vaccine combines several functions that could overcome the weaknesses of other experimental HIV vaccines, and is therefore a promising approach. ”
How the vaccine works
The new HIV vaccine works in the same way as the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine. However, instead of the mRNA instructions for the coronavirus protein, it contains encoded instructions for making two key proteins (Env and Gag) of HIV. After vaccination, muscle cells harvest these two proteins in the animal’s body and thus activate an immune response against the virus without the risk of infection or disease, since the full genetic code of HIV does not enter the body.
In rodents, two doses of the vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies against HIV. In macaques, the vaccine was well tolerated and caused only mild and temporary side effects such as loss of appetite. By week 58, all monkeys developed detectable levels of neutralizing antibodies as well as strong T cell activation.
After animal exposure to SHIV at 60 weeks, two of the seven vaccinated monkeys were not infected at all, and the rest became infected with a delay (on average after eight weeks), compared with a control group of unvaccinated monkeys (who became infected after three weeks). The researchers plan to begin the first phase of human trials of the vaccine – healthy adult volunteers.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It works by destroying the cells of the immune system, CD4 + T lymphocytes, which play an important role in the body’s defense against infections and other diseases.
Link to scientific publication: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01574-5
Source: ΑΠΕ / ΜΠΕ
Photo courtesy of ru.depositphotos.com
PS I think this is a worthy answer to those commentators who raised the topic a few days ago – why there are no vaccines against AIDS and HIV.